GreatNuts.com is our retail consumer arm of our manufacturing business, which is called GNS Foods. GNS stands for Great Nut Supply Co.
In 1989, we began roasting and seasoning nuts and seeds and blending snack mixes. More than 30 years later, we still process our mixes gently by hand. Many snack mix processors machine-tumbles their mixes, creating broken pieces and product “dust”. Why buy the best ingredients if you’re going to beat them up in a machine?
A few years later, we began offering bagged products with the purchase of vertical form, fill and seal equipment, which today produces many different sizes of bags, some with resealable tops.
Then, in 1992, one of our largest customers asked us to source and distribute Praline Pecans. After scouring the marketplace for the best available, we discovered a small company in Dallas making the most delectable version using real butter, real sugar, and no preservatives. We loved the product, but the price limited the market. After two years of testing and working with candy consultants, we still couldn’t capture the right texture. Finally, in 1994, GNS Foods bought the Dallas Company and learned the secrets. “Pecan Street Sweets” became our specialty nut candy line that encompasses those Praline Pecans as well as our nut log, nut brittle, pecan divinity, traditional pecan pralines and chewy pralines.
We still use the same wholesome ingredients, recipes and hand-made techniques used in these 1923 recipes, while incorporating more efficient systems. In addition to Praline Frosted Pecans, we offer other flavors: Orange (all natural, using oil of orange), Cinnamon (all natural, using real cinnamon), Cocoa, Key Lime, Piña Colada, Amaretto, and the list continues. We say we can coat any nut in just about any flavor. And, it’s true.
In 2005, we purchased full-color label printers and began offering private labels with high quality graphics to wholesale customers. By this time, we had added several packaging options as well, such as clear plastic tubs and jars.
In 2010, GNS Foods acquired the assets of Pacific Gold and moved its operations from Madera, California to Arlington, Texas. Pacific Gold was a repacker with unique and beautiful packing with add-ins like glitter-balls and real juniper berries harvested from Colorado tied up in gift boxes with hand-tied bows…hand-tied by American hands, not tied in China and held together with elastic. The packaging line fit in well with our ability to bring our specialty food production straight into the decorative packaging room. We continue to update the line with new collections. Although the line is primarily for wholesale, we’ve pulled a few items from it into GreatNuts.com for retail to the general public.
About five years later, we ventured into fudge-making. We make slabs for fudge stores, so they can display the slabs and cut by the pieces. We also make it in tubs, so it can be displayed in retail. And, we slice it into smaller, individually-wrapped pieces and put it into pop-up Point-of-Purchase display boxes.
All of this is in addition to the Airline First Class Nut business that we accumulated along with way.
None of this would have been possible without a fabulous team that helped build this company. We’re a small woman-owned, family-run business. But, even if you aren’t blood-related, you are still a part of the family that makes up GNS Foods, the wholesale branch, GreatNuts.com the retail store, and GreatNut.com the website. Working day in and day out with them has been amazing! Please read my blog: A Special Thanks to My Team.